Monday, September 24, 2012

Fifteen Minutes a Day to Social Marketing

So you think that you have no time to maintain a social media marketing policy.

Consider allotting 15 minutes a day to research and post to  Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest pages. Business Posts greater than 3-4 per week are intrusive and too much for most people. Quality not quantity rules on social media. With an initial goal of 2-3 posts per week you can keep quality in your posts, insuring that your audience is engaged and not ignoring what you've got to offer.

Perform your research for future posts on days when you're not posting. Open up a personal Pinterest page and post ideas to your personal page. This gives you a preview of how popular your posts may be once posted to your business pages.

Posts can pass on items of interest related to your business from around the web, events that your business is having, and news about your area. The ultimate goal of social media for business is  keeping the audience engaged, making your business an indispensable source of knowledge and information, keeping you in front of the competition.        

Monday, September 17, 2012

Listing on eBay

If you opt for an official store on eBay you can take advantage of the Turbo Lister program. This program allows you to create your listings while you're offline and then upload the listings to eBay at your convenience.

And the program works slightly faster than creating listings on the eBay site. For example pictures load a bit faster, although not quite as fast as they really should. One of the best features, though, is that you can create listings that use the same format each and every time.

One of the most disconcerting and confusing issues that new users may experience with eBay is the lack of uniformity with forms; go into a listing via the catalog and you get certain data, go in another way and you get another set of data to complete altogether. Sometimes you are required to set your listing and then go back through to get all the fields that are necessary for the listing to appear in the search engine properly.

Not so with Turbo Lister. Each and every time you are presented with the data fields that you need to complete the listing and it's efficiently on just one page---all present for your preview. You can make templates, keep track of items for sale, and monitor sales records. And the program creates a database that you can use to generate all sorts of information.

There are some issues, though. If you make an error for example, and try to list something with the same title, the program doesn't generate an error message, but simply crashes. If you have trouble with the program crashing it is more than likely a problem with the listing that you're working on. This is, hopefully, something that will be fixed in future versions of the program.

If you manage an eBay store, the Turbo Lister is worth a try.      

Monday, September 10, 2012

Google Search

I read with concern a report this morning that stated that Google was going to start charging for placement on Google search. The report, that appeared in a national newspaper, seems to have been misleading.

Google does have certain paid advertising that you can buy to receive highlighted placement at the top of the search page, but if SEO is done your business can more than likely appear near this prime real estate for free. So it's up to you if you want to pay extra for that top space. Personally, when I search for a product, I don't usually go with the top spot just because it's the top spot.

Google also has Google Product Search, a place where you need to go in separately and list your product. This is a free component and gets your product listed in the search results when a potential customer clicks on shopping on their Google search page.

And then there is the paid advertising that helps with adwords in local Google searches. This is for a fee, although most of the time you can try it for free. I've been told by a manufacturer with a limited and unique market that this is worth the money. Again, you are paying for the top spot, not to be the only listing.

To pay or not, is a decision that depends on your product, your competition, and how your business appears on the search engine after doing diligence with SEO.  If you have a local market where your competition is stiff, it may be worth the expense to be on top.  

But keep in mind, you will only be affecting those potential customers who do Google searches not those who use other search engines like Bing.